Bogdanovic defeats undefeated Lithuania and puts Serbia in the semis
Bogdan Bogdanovic led Serbia to the semifinals of the World Cup, where they will face the winner of Canada-Slovenia that will be played this Wednesday. The performance of the Atlanta Hawks guard was sensational. He scored 21 points (7/9 t2 and 2/4 t3), 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 25 PIR) to defeat the hitherto undefeated Lithuania (68-87), which fell with the entire team after having won the United States just two days before. The Baltics only stood up in the first quarter thanks to their success from the triple, as against the Americans, but as soon as the shots stopped coming in, they disappeared and were overwhelmed by a much more solid Serbia led by a superlative Bogdanovic, well-supported by Petrusev (15 points with 3/4 t2 and 3/3 t3) and Stefan Jovic (3/5 t3) who commanded the final takeoff in the third quarter with his triples. In Lithuania, only Sedekerskis (14) and Jokubaitis (13) were saved from the general disaster of their team.
Another triple start from the Lithuanians
Lithuania started the game as it did against the United States (9/9 t3 start), scoring Serbia with three points. Sedekerskis, Brazdeikis, Jokubaitis and even Valanciunas went wild from the perimeter to sign a 4/5 t3 in the first act. But they did not break the match (18-12, min 6) because Bogdanovic abused Brazdeikis every time he wanted, and Petrusev’s entry on the court revitalized the Balkans (25-24, min 10).
Pesic rested Bogdanovic, but his team did not accuse him. In fact, with the help of a good Guduric he took control of the scoreboard at the beginning of the second act (28-34, min 14). Bad news for the Lithuanians, who began to suffer when their love affair with triples was broken. They started the game scoring 5/7 t3, but then the big jam came 0/8 and their offensive problems gave Serbia wings.
Bogdanovic went on a rampage and scored 8 of his team’s last 11 points in the second quarter, and the Balkans reached the break with their highest lead (38-49). The takeoff of his team was the signature of the Hawks guard, absolutely unstoppable. By then he already had 18 points (6/7 t2 and 2/3 t3), 3 rebounds, 2 assists and a PIR of 22. His last basket in that quarter was a triple from almost 10 meters at the buzzer. It was his day. Lithuania arrived at half-time affected and was not able to overcome it after the restart because Serbia did not allow it. Only Valanciunas and Brazdeikis with a triple showed some early battle. Not much against a rival who paid him with the same medicine, the triple, to break the game. Nikola Jovic scored one and Stefan Jovic another three to shoot the Balkans on the scoreboard, who left their place in the semifinals finalized at the end of the third quarter with baskets from Guduric and Petrusev (55-73). And without the need for Bogdanovic to force the machine further.
Lithuania tried to stop its rival’s three-point barrage with a zonal defense as grotesque as its offensive game was sterile throughout the second half. He never had fluidity or found any solution for the defensive web of the Serbians, who with two consecutive triples from Petrusev, the Sixers center, established the maximum advantage (57-82, min 35) and were able to enjoy their pass to the semifinals, where Canada or Slovenia await, who play this Wednesday.